A Vegan Vacation
This spring break 2018 my family and I decided to take a vegan vacation in Wilmington, North Carolina and Carolina Beach. We stayed at the SeaWitch Motel, enjoyed the ocean, the boardwalk, and various restaurants around the area.
I really wanted to capture a strictly vegan restaurant for a new project I’m developing called VeganLinked.com. But there was not one vegan only restaurant in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, or anywhere in proximity for that matter. So, I had to change gears and improvise.
What to Eat on a Vegan Vacation
Again, I really wanted to hit a strictly vegan restaurant, there wasn’t any so I improvised. As a result I at least briefly covered during our adventure the following vegan friendly (at least semi) places: Eatery 17, SeaWitch Motel, Ida Thai Cuisine, Kate’s Pancake House, The Veggie Wagon, El Cazador, Hell’s Kitchen, Bespoke Coffee, and MaMa Wok Vegan Chinese.
I decided to at least capture what we normally have to do when we go out to eat for VeganWalk. Usually it’s easy enough to find somewhere to get greens, beans, grains, and veggies. Typically any Mexican restaurant or Asian restaurant will have plenty of options. And even some American food restaurants may but they’re usually pretty limited. However, Eatery 17 in Wilmington, near Carolina Beach, really surprised us and ended up absolutely being of our favorite places in the Wilmington and Carolina Beach area.
If you’re vegan and in the area definitely stop by Eatery 17. Even their website covers their vegan daily specials. Check out the video and photos below:
The SeaWitch Motel
After Eatery 17 we settled in at the SeaWitch Motel. When we asked for ideas on places to eat the friendly lady running the place said her daughter is vegan. She contacted her to see what places she thought we would like to consider. She suggested we try out Sea Level Gourmet and Hell’s Kitchen in Wilmington.
The SeaWitch has beautiful rooms and was very affordable. The only qualms were the bathroom fan which was really loud and annoying. But that wasn’t nearly as bad as the bright porch lights that shined through our windows. There’s no curtains, only blinds. So we had to use towels to cover the windows. We let management know the next day. Maybe they’ll resolve that with some black out curtains. It was nonetheless absolutely worth it and somewhere we’d stay again!
After we unpacked we enjoyed the beach for a bit. Later that afternoon we took a walk around the Boardwalk there. That was really interesting. Places didn’t appear packed, but when you pocked inside they sure were!
Ida Thai Cuisine
Later our first night we drove out to Ida Thai Cuisine in Carolina Beach for dinner. This place was small on the inside and packed but they didn’t skip a beat! The server was very nice and the food was great! We sat outside where it was very comfortable and spacious.
Kate’s Pancake House
The second day of our Vegan Vacation I decided to check out Kate’s Pancake House. The night before when we took a “Vegan Walk” around town I noticed they were promoting a “Tofu Skillet” loud and proud on the signage. So I just had to make time for this the next morning.
My family decided they wanted to sleep in. So, I went solo. It was such a nice walk breathing in the sea air on a quiet beach front morning. And Kate’s was the perfect touch.
When I first arrived there was hardly anyone there. But, by the time I was leaving they were packed. So, I made it just in time to beat the rush.
The coffee was excellent! The Tofu Skillet was perfect too! I chuckled at the name “Little Pink Tofu Skillet” before I realized what it was about. When it finally hit me that it was about raising money for those with breast cancer I was really proud of my order. And, it was no suprise that the only item on the menu promoting this was a vegan item.
The Veggie Wagon
When we were driving into Carolina Beach for our Vegan Vacation we noticed a big sign for “The Veggie Wagon“. Of course this was something we were excited to check out.
They had a lot to offer. However, it was not entirely “veggie” at all. There was definitely no shortage of cheese and meat there unfortunately. Nonetheless there was absolutely plenty of fruits and veggies and even some vegan dishes. I thought it was kind of funny that two of the vegan dishes were sold out and none of the none vegan dishes were.
I got a yummy mint, mocha, vegan latte to go. They also had a freshly made pumpkin and chocolate chip muffin I couldn’t resist buying and trying despite the heafty price for that morcel.
Getting fueled up on caffiene we drove out to the Fort Fisher area. I did some 360 photos while my son explored the beach with his beautiful vegan mama :).
After exploring the awesome Fort Fisher area we headed back to Carolina Beach for lunch. We decided to try some mexican food at El Cazador near our Motel. The restaurant was very nice, the service was great, the food was good, but the bathrooms were not so good. I don’t know why, they weren’t even crowded.
The Flautas we ordered were really, really good. I think they had sweet potatos in them. The veggie fajita was really nice in that it had a great variety of veggies unlike most mexican restaurants. It was a bit too oily but that’s unfortunately a common thing. Nonetheless, the food was better than most mexican restaurants.
Hell’s Kitchen in Wilmington
The next day we were heading back home through Wilmington. We decided to try out Hell’s Kitchen. First thing though, find a parking spot. There was a pay-for-parking area with plenty of vacancies. But this cost $3.50 an hour. I paid for two hours just to be sure we were covered. We ended up needing the two hours because our order sure did take long to deliver despite the place not even being crowded.
The food was good. It was a cool place. It ended up being pricey though on top of the $7 for parking. Somehow we ended up paying an extra $2 for sweet potato fries even though they were just a side item for my wrap. We saved about $4 going on a Wednesday and ordering an applicable vegan burger. But it was still one of the most expensive places we ended up eating at for the amount and quality of food we got. I suppose the cost is expected considering the location though. So, I’d probably rate it a 4 out of 5.
Bespoke Coffee and Dry Goods
Since I paid for parking already I figured I’d jaunt across the street quick to Bespoke Coffee. I was glad I did. They had plenty of vegan options there. The barista was vegan and suggested we try out Sea Level Gourmet next time we’re in town. She said it’s all vegan. But, when we called to fact check this they said it’s almost all vegan, they still offer shrimp and a few other nonvegan items. But, they made it clear most of the menu is in fact vegan.
Bespoke Coffee had vegan chocolate for my mocha which was awesome. They also had some vegan treats. They were a little pricey though too so I stopped at the mocha. I guess everything in Wilmington is expensive. This seemed a little backwards though because Carolina Beach didn’t appear that way. And Eatery 17 wasn’t expensive and it was practically in Carolina Beach.
Ma Ma Wok Chinese Vegan Restaurant in Charlotte, NC
After a few hours of driving, in route and closer to home, we decided to take advantage of being near Ma Ma Wok. I had heard great things about this restaurant recently. So, I was very excited to check it out!
Ma Ma Wok is one of the very few Vegan Restaurants in Charlotte, but AT LEAST THEY HAVE SOME! They have a huge vegan menu. I’m not really into mock meats at all but they nailed this in such a creative way! They have duck, chicken, beef, steak, fish, and shrimp all veganized.
Ma Ma Wok was delicious. The price was just right. The service was excellent. I definitely look forward to revisiting MaMa Wok and including them in VeganLinked.com!